It Starts with Yui: Toyota’s Plans to Design the Car of the Future
When you close your eyes and think of the future, do the cars look the same as they do now? Probably not. You probably envision something with clean lines, a sleek exterior, and an almost seamless interior. There probably are not a lot of buttons, but the vehicle is certainly still engaging. The car you see when you close your eyes is on another level from anything on the road today, but that car that you are thinking of is exactly what Toyota is striving for with the futuristic designs they have released for Concept-I, rightfully named “Yui.”
While the images released of this vehicle appear strikingly realistic, they are just that, images; the Concept-I vehicle is not set to be released anytime soon. Rather, this concept is a plan for vehicles of the future. By creating this model, Toyota hopes to begin to predict how vehicles of the future will behave and look. To accomplish this, Toyota has had to ponder some of the most important questions to drivers everywhere: What will our cars look like? How will they function? Will we drive them, or will they drive us?
It should not come as a secret that drivers want their vehicles to take them places safely and efficiently; however, as sportier models have become more popular, many drivers have felt a need to enjoy the thrill of their drive at the same time. While Toyota is trying to cater to these driving desires, they also want the car to feel warm, friendly, and engaging.
In order to have the vehicle meet the aesthetic they were chasing, Toyota took a user-centric approach to designing the concept, moving from the inside out with a strong focus on how the user would experience all that the vehicle has to offer.
Toyota has released images of the white version of the vehicle; however, it is unclear if they already have other color options in mind. The trendy white and bronze-gold interior of the vehicle appears to comfortably seat four passengers, with room for rear storage.
Functionality was not the only feature in consideration when designing Concept-I; the geniuses behind the vehicle also included expressive sculptural qualities and elegant graphic abilities. The minimal, yet stylistic, interior is designed to help further support the user experience and Yui’s ability to communicate with the driver using light, sound, and touch.
Grow as Yui Go
Along with its stellar interior appearance, the Concept-I is designed to focus on connecting with the actual mind of the driver. To do this, Yui is equipped with a powerful artificial intelligence system that learns the driver’s patterns and preferences to foster a beneficial relationship between the human and the vehicle.
Along with understanding your schedule, there are also plans for the Concept-I to connect with the driver on a deeper level. By combining a range of intelligent technologies, there is hope that the vehicle will be able to gauge the driver’s emotions. For example, if the driver is beginning to feel tired or has been driving for a long time, the vehicle might offer to take over driving functions so the user can sit back and enjoy the rest of the ride. The same can also be said if the driver is feeling sad.
Having the ability to understand the driver and their needs means that the intelligence system within the vehicle will eventually be able to anticipate when and where a driver might need assistance. Because of this, the Concept-I will be able to increase driving safety, hopefully creating a bond between the human and the vehicle that is more friendly than necessary. Building these types of personal connections will help ensure that the user connection is built like any other strong relationship on the values of trust and loyalty. Toyota has even said that they hope the immersive technology will lead drivers to feel like Yui is more of a friend than a car that they are navigating the road with.
Since the release of the concept, there has been a great deal of excitement around when the vehicle will be available for purchase. According to the masterminds at Toyota, the vehicle should be released for testing and public trials sometime in 2020. While some critics have said that the release of these vehicles has been too long, Toyota executives have made it clear that their focus on the importance of user safety far outweighs the timeframe these critics had in mind for the vehicle’s release.
Written by Morgan Evans